Year in Running 2016

California International Marathon Race Recap 2016

I find it a valuable and meaningful a process to reflect on a year past – perhaps even more valuable than setting goals for the upcoming year. You never know the ups and downs that a year will bring. While I truly enjoy setting goals, I find that at the end of the year, the best experiences are those which weren’t goals that I set or could have even dreamed of setting. 

I love doing these Year in Running reviews (you can see my 2014 and 2015 reviews), so I’m linking up with Eat Pray Run DC for Year in Running 2016!

Eat Pray Run DC Year of Running 2016

Best Race Experience

I really enjoyed all the races I did this year, but the California International Marathon was my best race experience. I ran a negative split in a marathon on my way to qualifying for Boston. I felt strong and enjoyed the race. The whole experience still feels almost surreal to me and I still can’t quite comprehend that I ran a 3:31 marathon. I’m still riding on a post-race high.

California International Marathon Race Recap 2016

Best Run

That’s a hard question! Assuming this means a run outside of a race setting, I would have to say the Thanksgiving run with Ryan and Ollie. We just went out there in the pouring rain and had fun running together! I love running with my boys.

California International Marathon Week 17

I also enjoyed every step of the shakeout run at the Rise.Run.Retreat. I’m an introvert, but running serves as a great icebreaker and an easy starting point for friendship.

Rise Run Retreat 2016


Best New Piece of Running Gear

This was hard, because I really, really like gear!

Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash makes running with the dogs so much easier and safer. I originally resisted the notion of a hands for a couple years, but now I use it for even regular walks. Charlie and Ollie love running so much, and this leash makes those miles even more fun for both of us. (Because I would never run both dogs at once – even with a waist leash!)

Year in Running 2016

(Not a new piece of gear, but this Saucony reflective jacket from 2014 is one of my favorite pieces each winter.)

Gear Well EnduraPouch made fueling during my marathon training and racing so much easier and less messy. I left my emergency gel (which I took one sip of) in my pocket after I finished everywhere, and it exploded into a giant sticky mess. In contrast, I dropped one of the pouch caps early on during the race – yet even without the cap, the full pouch didn’t spill gel all over me.

Best Piece of Advice You Received This Year

You know what you are doing. Just run. Susie from Suzlyfe said this to me a few days before CIM and these words stuck with me. That’s the art of letting go and running intuitively, summed up into a few sage words. 


Most Inspirational Runner

I can’t choose just one runner for this, since so many of my fellow runners inspire me in many different ways. Each of the women on the Rise.Run.Retreat inspire me to become a better runner. Each runner has been through her own peaks and valleys of training (some literally, with their impressive mountain and trail racing) and trains with grit, resilience, and passion. Their accomplishments encourage me to dream a little bigger in my running goals.

Leaf Peeper Half Marathon Race Recap (Rise.Run.Retreat 2016)
Photo Courtesy of Sandra

Favorite Picture from a Run or Race This Year

This photo from CIM is my favorite because I’m actually smiling (and not grimacing while thinking that I’m smiling). It captures that joy I find in running and pushing my physical and mental limits.

California International Marathon Race Recap 2016

Race Experience You Would Repeat

The California International Marathon. The course, the weather, my pacing, my mental game, my nutrition – everything aligned for that marathon. I ran CIM seeking redemption from Portland, but I found more than redemption: I discovered that I really, really enjoy the marathon.

California International Marathon Race Recap 2016

If You Could Sum Up the Year in a Few Words, What Would They Be?

If I could summarize 2016 in one word, it would be breakthrough.

2016 was a year of breakthrough training cycles and races. I ran a 5 minute PR and broke 1:40 in the half marathon in March. I overcame my fear of hilly races at Leaf Peeper. I qualified for Boston and took 18 minutes off my marathon time at CIM. I improved my fueling and hydration, learned to run by perceived effort, and made so many new friendships through running.

[Tweet “Year of Running 2016: Breakthrough via @thisrunrecipes #running”]

How was your year in running?
What word would you use to describe your year?

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20 Responses

  1. YES!!!! You had one helluva year my friend and it was earned!!! I’m so glad we were able to meet and run and eat and laugh together at the Rise.Run.Retreat and I certainly hope we can do it again next year! Here’s to more success and fist-pumping moments in 2017!!

  2. a) OMG I’m so honored and I’m blushing. I’m so honored and pleased and everything that something that I said helped you so profoundly.
    b) Speaking of profound, you grew and evolved profoundly this year as a runner. You put YOURSELF to the test, and you rose and met the challenge. Breakthrough indeed. I am so proud of you!

  3. Susie is a wise old woman stuck inside of a hot little young body, eh? Great post. I loved reading this, and I am so amazed by you. You’re a talented runner but man, did you ever work hard and well to accomplish what you did in 2016. Congrats, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do next year.

  4. Congrats on such a breakthrough year! I’m glad you had so many highlights and successes to follow up your hard work. I know a lot of runners who really struggled in 2016, and it’s inspiring to hear from people like yourself who never gave up and were rewarded for their perseverance!

    2016 was pretty forgettable for me. I’m ready to put it behind me. But one highlight was your awesome coaching and getting to know you better!!!

  5. Reading this made me smile so much! I am so thrilled for you that you had such a breakthrough year. It was so fun to follow your journey and watch all your accomplishments unfold. I’m also so grateful we had the chance to meet in Vermont. I agree that most of the people who inspire me are the runners I’ve met along our shared journeys. I can’t wait to see what you will do in 2017! xoxo

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